All of these are valid reasons, yet at no point puts the liberty of the tenant in the picture. After all, why do you pay a security deposit if you can’t do anything on the property.
Sure, cannabis is still federally illegal, but we’re at a point in time where more people are in support of cannabis and the law-enforcement route is dwindling.
Finally, landlords are projecting their fears on their tenants, assuming they are druggies and will simply mess everything up. This is frankly quite offensive. It’s a hasty generalization that plays into old stereotypes promoted by “das government.” Are cannabis users bad tenants? Let me ask this a different way: Are those who drink an occasional glass of wine bad tenants? How about those who eat doughnuts? Not sure how to answer that one? That’s because you can’t define someone’s moral compass based on what they eat, drink or smoke.
Of course, you can infer that “tobacco smoke” may cause some smells to impregnate into the structure of your house, and because of that reason Massachusetts landlords do have the right to evict someone if they violate the “smoking ban” which is upheld by state law.
Beyond that, to ban residents from consuming any form of cannabis is playing into the stereotype that cannabis users are “less than” their non-smoking counterparts. This is interesting because one would think that these landlords would also have a qualm with alcohol, which is responsible for up to 40% of all violent crimes and is a heavy influencer in spousal abuse, child abuse, etc. One would think that landlords would prefer to avoid “child beatings” on their property, but there has been no move or interest from these same landlords to ban alcohol consumption on their properties.
Sure, this is an exaggerated point of view, but increasingly, being against cannabis consumption is becoming as ridiculous as banning alcohol and it’s time that we embrace cannabis on all fronts. This includes allowing tenants to consume cannabis or at the very least create a place for them to consume.
This is a human rights issue that clashes with private property rights. It’s difficult for sure because the libertarian in me says, “The landlords have the right to do whatever they want on their property” and I wouldn’t want the government to take away that right and force them to do anything.
On the other hand, cannabis consumption does not indicate bad tenants; there is no inherent risk of damage to your property.
So I guess if you are a landlord and want to be an ass, it’s your right to be so. But I hope the market simply avoids your property since you’re still living in the 1980s.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.
The Fresh Toast is a daily lifestyle platform with a side of cannabis. For more information, visit www.thefreshtoast.com.